Tag Archives: Real time GTFS

GTFS Tools – GTFS Builder, GTFS Editor and GTFS-Realtime

Getting your bus, train, ferry and public transport onto maps and apps requires GTFS Tools.  AddTransit has a set of GTFS tools that allows you start simply and then build up to more complex realtime updates.

GTFS Tools

Our GTFS tools include:

  • GTFS Builder / GTFS Editor
  • GTFS-Realtime Status updates
  • GTFS-Realtime Vehicle Tracking

Let’s discuss each of these in turn…..

GTFS Builder / GTFS Editor

GTFS Editor, GTFS Builder & other GTFS Tools

Our GTFS builder / GTFS editor allows you to create the initial GTFS file.   We step you through your agency details, the scheduled days that you operate, the routes, individual trips and stops information.  This allows you to easily build your GTFS file.  If you have existing data in stored in files (e.g. CSV, MS Excel), we even be able to upload the data for you and greatly speed up the creation of the GTFS file.  Once all the necessary information has been entered, then you can create your first GTFS file.  We can host the GTFS file for you, or you can host it on your own servers.  When your stops, routes or schedules change, you can easily log into our secure online website and use the GTFS Builder / GTFS editor to update your data.  When you are ready you can also add information about transfers, wheelchair and bike capacities, fares and route maps.

GTFS-Realtime Status Updates

GTFS-Realtime status updates

When delays affect a planned service, GTFS-Realtime status updates allow you to keep your passengers informed. You can provide customer information on what is causing the delay and what the effect will be on passenger’s travel.  The level of detail you provide is up to you. You can even provide a URL to pages on your company’s website to give even more detail.  AddTransit for GTFS-Realtime status updates can be provided to all online map, apps and journey planning providers.  This allows your passengers to choose their preferred devices and software providers.  Allowing your status updates to be displayed on many different online maps, apps and journey planners will result in the maximum number of customers being informed.

GTFS-Realtime Vehicle Tracking

GTFS-Realtime Vehicle Tracking

GTFS-Realtime Vehicle Tracking solves the problem of customers not knowing when their bus, train or ferry is about to arrive.  Using a free App on a GPS enabled smartphone with secure AddTransit login details, you can upgrade your AddTransit account to include GTFS-Realtime Vehicle Tracking.  Initially, your staff can monitor your vehicles on the AddTransit website. When you are ready, you can also provide vehicle positions in a GTFS -Realtime file for all online map, apps and journey planning providers to use.

Related Posts:

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Online Real-time Vehicle Tracking Software

Online real-time vehicle tracking software gives you the ability to view your bus positions, locate your trains and monitor your ferries or trams wherever they are.  Additionally, you can provide this same information to passengers so that they can plan their journeys and so that their friends and families can have the security of knowing when they will depart and arrive.

Real Time Vehicle Tracking Software

Vehicle Tracking Software – The Technology

AddTransit’s technology is easy to deploy.  There is no need for IT consultants or hardware that costs tens of thousands of dollars.  Instead we just add an app to a GPS enabled smartphone or tablet which is carried on the vehicle.  With the accuracy of smartphones now being approximately the size of a vehicle in an area with good mobile/cell coverage, this enables the vehicle location to easily be pinpointed.

The smartphone or tablet, then sends a secure signal using the HTTPS protocol to our servers, which then display the location on a map.

Secure and Accurate Vehicle Tracking

To ensure secure and accurate vehicle tracking, each vehicle is has its a unique identifier (e.g. a Licence Plate or Registration Number) entered and the on board company representative (e.g. driver, pilot, or other staff member) has to login.  Key trip details are also selected so that you can know which vehicle, company representative is currently logging the vehicles location.

Online  Vehicle Tracking- The Display

Tracking bus positions, or other vehicles locations is then as simple as logging into the AddTransit website.  The location of the bus, ferry, train or tram are shown on map and update at regular intervals. Depending on your need, you can select to monitor a particular vehicle, trip or route.  As the solution is online and real-time, you can monitor your vehicles from wherever your staff need to.  For example, your staff could monitor your vehicles from both the head office and from ticket sales locations, depots or docks.

Vehicle Tracking Apps, Journey Planners and Maps

Using AddTransit’s online real-time vehicle tracking also enables you to have your vehicle’s locations displayed on vehicle tracking apps, journey planners and maps.  We can provide a GTFS Real-time data feed which can be used by companies such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to display your vehicle’s locations on their maps.

Contact us to find out more or Sign up today!

Is Your Bus Company Ready for Mothering Sunday?

Mothering Sunday is March 6th in the UK, and it can be a busy day for transit companies.  As riders rush to and from church, and too and from visiting Mum, they may be irritable about family rows or the lack of space on the bus.  Here are some ideas for keeping the day running smoothly.

Take Transit this Mothering Sunday

1. Remind your drivers in advance that Mothering Sunday might be an extra busy day.  Remind them of the importance of being polite to riders, even and maybe especially to those who are rude.  Sometimes all it takes is a smile to turn someone’s day around, and bus drivers are generally so good at this.

Also, have your drivers keep an eye on bus capacity, and cap it if necessary.  An overcrowded bus is unsafe and miserable for everyone on board.

2. Will your route or schedule be changing on Mothering Sunday?  How will your riders know?  Unexpected changes can make even the most passive of us pretty irritated.  Your riders expect that information to be online and easily accessible through their smart phones.  People are much more likely to take the bus if the process is simple.  They want to be able to book their tickets online, and make a clear plan of exactly how they’ll get to their destination and any stops along the way.  If things do change, they want to be notified in real time.

We can provide all of this travel planning convenience for your customers.  It’s easy and affordable to get your schedules online and provide riders with real time status updates in the case of delays.    Contact us and find out how!

3. Are any of your drivers or other employees mothers?  Take a moment to appreciate all they do!  They might not get to see their families on Mothering Sunday if they are working, so bring a cake into the office, pass out some flowers, or give them each a card.  You might also find some ideas in our Employee Appreciation Day post.

We’d love to hear from you!  What are you doing to make Mothering Sunday special?

Happy Mothering Sunday from AddTransit!

Your Customers Expect Real Time Status Updates

Real Time Status Updates….

Customers expect Real Time Status updates

You know others are doing it.

But yes…. you’ve been putting it off.

You are fearful.  There’s a cost. People, systems and reputation.   So it’s been left to another day, another month, another year…

So what to do???  Let’s review each of these fears and see if we can turn these fears into an opportunity.

Your passengers/customers

Your customers and passengers are now expecting real time status updates.  They are tracking their parcels in real time across the globe.  They know if their Amazon book has left the warehouse, if their E-bay dress is in transit or if their pizza is just about to be delivered.  Their use of paper based maps for driving is now a increasingly historical novelty and GPS enabled smartphones is commonplace.  A decade ago it was normal not to know when things would arrive.  But now, not providing that information is seen as poor customer service.

Your team

Your team are already providing realtime status updates.  They do it by phone in the call center, at customer service centers, at stops/stations/ports and on vehicle.  However, this is a drain on your resources.  Imagine if customers/passengers could self-serve and obtain this information themselves.  This would free up your team.  They could focus on sales, upsell, and safety and instead of many team members providing best-effort updates, real time status updates allow you to ensure the right person provides the right information in the most efficient and cost effective way.

Realtime Status Systems and Software

In the past realtime status systems and software meant a massive cost investment.  Electronic signage was installed at key stops. Televisions and automated voice announcements were programmed.  Networking all these together was horrendously complicated.  And then if you wanted on vehicle realtime status systems you had to install triggers to let the vehicles know which stops had been passed and communications throughout the vehicles so all passengers could view the updates.

Luckily this huge cost outlay is no longer required.  With commuters now carrying smartphones, AddTransit can help you publish realtime status updates online.  This is a great opportunity as commuters care more about their journey, than the vehicles journey. Online realtime status updates are like Pizza delivery tracking.  You want to know how long it is until the pizza arrives at your house.  You don’t want to know all houses that the driver will delivering pizza to.  Online realtime status updates allow passengers to focus on just the information that is important to them, without being bombarded by updates that are irrelevant to their journey.  Real time status updates gives you the opportunity to provide passengers a personalized customer experience.

Your reputation

The other fear is the reputation.  The concern is that if your vehicles are late, you’ll be publishing this information for all to see.  This actually is a false fear.  Knowing that the vehicle is late allows passenger confidence in the system to rise, as now you have provided them with additional information giving them the opportunity to adjust their schedules.   Of course you’ll be looking for ways to improve on the service and minimise future delays, but in the meantime the real time status maps and apps will take the brunt of passengers displeasure with late services, and provide passengers reassurance for all the services that run perfectly.

The real time status updates opportunity

So the fears are false.  The opportunity is there.  The question now is poor customer service acceptable?  Or is it time to start real time status updates?

Find out more at https://addtransit.com/real-time-status.php

Or Join today and we’ll get you started.

Have a great day!

Tips for Driving Buses Safely in the Winter

Winter is here, and snow storms are hitting hard all across the Northern Hemisphere. Whether you own a shuttle bus company, or manage school buses or city buses, you know how important it is for your drivers to stay safe, and keep your precious cargo safe. We have some tips to help your bus drivers be careful on the icy roads.

Safe Driving Buses during Winter

Training is not just for new drivers. We could all use a reminder now and then about how to drive safely, and when we are in emergency situations, we tend to fall back on those skills we’ve practiced. Set up a training area where drivers can work with instructors and practice increasing their following distance, and techniques for braking on ice and using anti lock brakes (ABS) properly (steady, constant pressure).

Consider telling your bus drivers to take alternate routes, and make sure they know routes that avoid large hills or particularly icy areas, so they can make those decisions on the road if necessary.

Make a discussion of the day’s weather forecast part of your morning meeting, if you have one. If not, consider implementing this habit so everyone in your company starts out the day with the information they need to stay safe and be productive.

Give your bus drivers a pre-trip inspection checklist, and make sure you’re giving them permission to be on the clock early enough to get it done.

Pre-trip Inspection Checklist

  • Do the heaters work?
  • Are the wiper blades in good condition?
  • Is the widow washer solvent full?
  • Do I have a can of de-icing spray?
  • Are the headlights working and clear of snow?
  • Are all of the windows and mirrors clear of snow?

10 Tips for Driving Safely in Winter Weather

  1. Slow down.
  2. If you start to slide, don’t overcompensate or jerk the wheel. Use slow, steady movements.
  3. Apply steady, constant pressure to the brakes, especially if you start to slide.
  4. Don’t use cruise control.
  5. Use your low beam headlights at night or in the fog
  6. Wear sunglasses to reduce glare during the day.
  7. Increase your following distance.
  8. Use your air-conditioning or if not available, crack a window in the front and back of the bus to keep your wind shield from fogging up.
  9. Maintain a constant speed on hills. If hills are especially icy, consider taking an alternate route
  10. Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses, which may have ice before other parts of the road.

Finally, winter weather can cause buses to sometimes be late to their destinations. We can help you alert your riders about delays with Real Time Status Updates and inform them of route changes with Vehicle Positioning Software. They can receive these updates on their phones. Contact us today to find out how to provide this valuable service to your customers.

Online Vehicle Tracking Software (Real Time)

AddTransit’s online vehicle tracking software gives you cheap vehicle tracking in real time.  Combining the power of GPS equipped smartphones, the Internet and custom built cloud based software results in cheap vehicle tracking for your bus, transit or transport tourism business.

Online Vehicle Tracking

Using our apps or mobile Internet pages your drivers can login and choose their route and vehicle.  The GPS enabled smartphones then provide the position of the vehicle as they travel along the route.

The vehicles location can be viewed on AddTransit’s online vehicle tracking web pages in real time.  We can also use the GTFS (General Transit File Specification) real time format to provide the vehicle positions to App providers and Google Maps.

It’s quick to set-up, easy to use and good value.

Have a great day!